Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
Page 16
Page 17
Page 18
Page 19
Page 20
EnvironmentWildres7TuesdayJuly292014InlovingMemoryWilliamBillNelsonAugust11998TreasuredthoughtsofonesodearForestfirecausesstringofpoweroutagesByMEAGANWOHLBERGTheNorthwestTerritoriesPowerCorp.NTPCsaystheragingrecomplexnearBe-hchokoisresponsibleforthecompletepoweroutagesthatleftYellowknifeDettahandBehchokowithoutpoweronseveraloccasionslastweek.AdamagedlinebetweentheSnarehydroplantandBehchokocausedthetwopoweroutageslastTuesdayafternoonthatsawthecom-munitiesswitchedontodieselgeneratorsafterlosingcity-wideelectricity.ThenonWednesdayafter-noonaroundthesametimeasthedaybeforepowerwasagainlosttotheentirecityofYellowknifeputtingthecommunitybackondiesel.Knowingthatitcouldhap-penagainthePowerCorp.calledforimmediateenergyconservationfromYellowknifeonWednesdayafternoonbutthatdidntstopthecityfromexperiencingyetanotherfullpoweroutageonSaturday.AforestreonthemaintransmissionlinebetweentheSnarehydroelectricplantandtheCityofYellowknifehascausedoneoutageinthecityandwhilethelineiscur-rentlyenergizeditcouldgooutagainwarnedNTPCcommunicationsmanagerPamCoultermid-week.Unfortunatelyrecentlight-ninghasdamagedsomegen-eratorsatJackshandcrewwillcontinuetoworkintothenighttorepairthem.HowevershouldtheSnarelinegodownagainpowergenerationmaynearitscapacity.Figuringouttheexactloca-tionofthelinedamage-andrepairingit-hasbeenmadedifcultbythere.Wesuspectthereisadam-agedlinebetweenBehchokoandtheSnareplanthoweverduringthey-overlinecrewswerenotabletolandoras-sessthedamageduetoheavysmokeCoultersaidlastTues-day.Safetyisalwaysnum-beroneatNTPCsountilthesmokeclearswewontbeabletoaccesstheareahoweverthedamagedlinehasbeenisolatedandYellowknifeandDettahhaverevertedbacktohydro.FurtherwordonWednesdaysignalledthatthewildrewasatfaultforthedamage.ForestrealongBehchokotransmissionlineissuspectedofdamagingthepowerlinesandcausingyesterdaysout-agesthePowerCorp.updatedonline.HoweverNPTCcantaspossibletominimizecostsoftheexpensivefuel.GeneratingpowerusingwateratthehydroelectricplantissignicantlycheaperthanrunningondieselNTPCstatedinarelease.Anycostsincurredasaresultofusingadditionaldieselhavetoberecoupedatsomepoint.Recommendedconserva-tioneffortsincludedusingthebarbecueinsteadofstoverefrainingfromdoinglaundrykeepingaircondi-tionersoffnotrunningthedishwasherandunpluggingelectronics.Fibre-opticlineputatriskNTPCwasnttheonlyentityworriedaboutitsinfrastruc-turelastweekasNorthwes-telwasonhighalertaftertheBirchCreekrecomplexalongHighway3southofBehchokoagainposedathreattothecom-panysaerialbreequipment.Thetelecommunicationscompanydispatchedtech-nicianstocutbrusharoundequipmentalongtheroadbutwereprohibitedfromac-cessingthearealatelastweekduetosafetyconcernsposedbythere.Thoseconcernssubsidedovertheweekend.Northwestelhadredundancyplanspreparedincaseofacut.SafetyisalwaysnumberoneatNTPCsountilthesmokeclearswewontbeabletoaccessthearea.PamCoulterNorthwestTerritoriesPowerCorp.EnvironmentWildresassessorrepairtransmissionlineuntilENREnvironmentandNaturalResourcesgivesclearancetoentersite.Beh-chokoresidentsaskedtokeepconservingpower.HydropowertookdaystoberestoredtoBehchokowhichcontinuedtorunondieseluntilSaturday.ResidentstherewereaskedtoconservepowerasmuchFirefatiguetakesholdinsmokeyNWTcapitalDeptofTransportclosesHwy.3untilWednesdaymorningatearliestByDONJAQUESurroundedbyresandsubjecttooppressivesmokedailyrefatigueistakingatollonresidentsofYellow-knifewithnoendtothevi-ciousreseasoninsight.Thecityhasbeenisolatedbyresfortwoweeksnowwiththosedrivingininclud-ingsupplytruckswaitingsometimesmorethanadayinlonglineups.Anyoneleavingthecitytypicallyfacesroadclosureshavingtowaitanx-iouslybeforemakingamaddashwhenthewindchangesandallowsvisibilitybeforethesmokeclosesinagain.ThedepartmentofTranspor-tationagainclosedHwy.3onMondayadecisionstaffsaidthatwillnotbere-assesseduntilWednesdaymorning.Motoristswhoventuredownthehighwaydescribedriv-ingthroughtheexperienceaseerieandsurreallikedrivingthroughatunnelwithdarknessallround.Thatcanmeanthreadingthroughactivereswithamescrowningintheconiferousforestonbothsidesoftheroadafrighteningun-forgettableexperience.Stressedfromthethreatoffiresonallsidesresi-dentscomplainthatthelightisoppressiveattimesdarkandforeboding.Theever-presentsmokeonsomedayschallengesbreathingbeyondthelimitsofwhatisdeemedacceptableforhumanhealth.AsofMonday287reshadbeenrecordedintheNWTwithoveramillionhectaresburned.Typicallytheresea-sontapersoffbymid-Augustbutthereisnopredictingwhenitmightendthisyear.Wearebynomeansoutofit.TherecouldbealotofreseasonleftifwedontgetrainMikeGravelterrito-rialdutyofcerattheNWTFireCentreinFortSmithtoldTheJournalMonday.IntheNorthSlaveanewreabout30kmwestofYel-lowknifeand9kmnorthofHwy.3isbeingfoughtby75reghtersfromOntarioSaskatchewanManitobaandtheNWT.Crewshavemadegoodprogresslimit-ingregrowthtowardsthehighway.Workcontinuedonthesouthandsoutheastankofthere.ThereisoldgrowthforestbetweenthefireandYellowknifemakingitvulnerableandthetargetofaggressiveinitialattack.Anotherreabout90kmsoutheastofYellowknifewasstartedbylightningonJuly21.Values-at-riskintheareaincludeBlachfordLakeLodgeandAvalonsNechala-choProject.Thereisbeingheldbutnotundercontrol.MassiveresinagiantrecomplexbetweenBehchokoandFortProvidenceencroachonHwy.3overaconsiderabledistance.Extremesmokecon-ditionsoftenresultinzerovis-ibility.BurnoutoperationshavebeencarriedoutsuccessfullyonbothsidesofthehighwaytoprotectFortProvidence.Values-at-riskprotectionisunderwayonthewestshoreofGreatSlaveLake.AnothermassivecomplexeastoftheIngramTrailcon-tinuestothreatenYellowknifealongwithnumeroushomesandcottagesfromtheeast.Crewscontinuetomopupthecontainmentlinealongthesouthankofthere.Thisoperationisdoingwellandnoissuesareexpected.Con-tainmentlinesonthenorth-westsouthandsoutheastofthereareholding.AnIncidentManagementTeamisinplacenorthwestofWhatiwheretwocontrolledburnswerecarriedoutsuccess-fullytoprotectthecommunityfromaragingrecomplexandlimitthelandscapeimpacteastofthecommunity.TheactiontakenshoulddenitelyreducetherisktoWhatiGravelsaid.Firedangerishightoex-tremeintheSouthSlaveandDehchoaswell.SeveralresareburningintheHayRiverKakisaandEnterprisearea.Allareundercontrolorbeingheld.OnethatstartedSaturdayabout13kmeastoftheHayRiverReservewasattackedandcrewsareworkingonhotspotsaroundtheperim-eter.AnotherreisburningnearHwy.537kmwestofFortSmithinWoodBuffaloNationalParkneartheLittleBuffaloRiverFalls.AnewrestartedupMon-dayabout10kmsouthofJeanMarieRiver.ItisunderinitialattackbyghtersandwillhopefullybeheldtodayandcontrolledtomorrowifMotherNaturecooperatesGravelsaid.Anotherreabout45kmsouthofJeanMarieRivernearHwy.1isbeingheldandcrewsaremoppingupwhileonenearBlackstoneTerritorialParkhascrewsac-tivelyghtingitandmakinggoodprogress.NonewreshavereportedintheSahtuorInuvikregions.AreburnsnearBehchokotothewestofYellowknife.Firesaroundthecapitalhavelledthecitywithsmokeforweeksoftenrankingextremeintermsofpoorairquality.PhotocourtesyofNTPCWearebynomeansoutofit.Therecouldbealotofreseasonleftifwedontgetrain.MikeGravelEnvironmentandNaturalResources